Review: “1917”, a lesson in love

Harrison Dear, Contributor

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“1917” is more than another war movie; it is a lesson in love. Love your friends, love your enemies, and love yourself; for sometimes it is all we have to give.

The World War I movie takes place along the English frontlines in northern France, and two soldiers, Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) are called in by General Erinmore to do a special mission-calling off an attack that is a trap.

If the attack is not stopped, 1600 soldiers will die, one of which is Blake’s brother, Joseph.

I have only seen a handful of war-movies, but I can tell this movie is a stand-out. One reason why is the Oscar-nominated cinematography.

The movie used a particular style of filming; the camera appeared to never stop recording those soldiers central to the mission. It followed them through buildings and in mines, through trenches and on the frontlines, never panning on others. 

Filming a movie in one take is impossible. Nonetheless, director Sam Mendes circumvented this fact by making sure all the weather and lighting in all the ‘pieces’ in the movie lined up. Incredible cinematography.

Nevertheless, something also happened in 1917 that was more subtle, but incredibly important. The motifs of care and humanity continuously emerged despite the circumstances of war.

In war, you put your life in the hands of your fellow soldiers, but in 1917, the camaraderie extended past the British troops. Whether it was singing a French villager’s child to sleep or trying to save a German soldier’s life, humanity and care reached beyond expected basic care in utterly beautiful moments. Compassion juxtaposed the usual morbid aspects of war, and it was a relieving spectacle.

Let 1917 be a war movie, but let it also be a lesson of fraternity. Never forget we are all human and we should focus on love to carry us through.